RMSP Weekends - Day One


I attended a weekend photography conference last weekend. This conference is called RMSP Weekends and it is put on by the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. I highly recommend checking it out if it comes to your area as I feel I learned a ton!

The sessions I attended for Day One 

    • Understanding Exposure: Using the Zone System for Color
    • Workflow: Processing Your Images with Adobe® Lightroom®
    • Light: Creating Mood and Dimension
    • Keeping Your Photography Fresh

The notes I took

Understanding Exposure

Tim Cooper - Tim Cooper Photography

Reflected Meter

Middle Grey - Average Reflectance

Camera automatically turns white into a gray and black into a gray

Meter Types

    • Center-Weighted Meter
    • Partial Meter
    • Spot Meter
    • Evaluative/Matrix Meter (used in P-mode)

Exposure Meter is usually at the bottom or on the side of the frame

Auto-Bracketing (used for HDR)

Checking Exposure

    • Find average brightness
    • Zero out meter
    • Check highlights

Zone III - VII = 5 stops of latitude

Aperture priority mode - may need to use the exposure compensation dial in addition to all the normal setup. Need to try using Manual Mode as the norm



Processing Your Images With Adobe LightRoom

Tim Cooper - Tim Cooper Photography

Library Module

    • Loop Mode
    • Grid Mode


    • P - Pick
    • X - Reject

Library filter


Apply During Import

    • File Renaming
    • Presets
    • Meta Data Template

Note: This instructor strongly suggests putting LightRoom catalog and all photos on a large, external hard drive so you can work with them on any machine that has LR installed. Backup that device onto two other HD's. Something to consider.

Space bar, blows up a photo on the screen

Crop tool not only crops a photo, but you can apply a print size to it as well. (ie, 5x7, 8x10, etc)

Saving "Develop" presets.


Lighting: Creating Mood and Dimension

Tony Rizzuto

Brightness is defined as the amount of light in a scene

ISO,shutter speed and aperture affect the amount of light

Contrast is defined as the difference in brightness between the highlights and the shadows.

Really dark shadows (no detail) - blocked out

Really bright highlights (no detail) - blown out

The human eye can see 15 stops of brightness in a scene

stop = change in brightness (x2) => 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc

B&W negatives contain 10 stops

Contrast is created by 3 things: the direction of the light source, the size of the light source and the distance of the light source.

Types of light

    • Front light (0-45 degrees) is considered low contrast because there are no shadows.
    • Side light (45-90 degrees) is considered high contrast
    • Back light is considered low contrast.
    • Diffuse light - light falls on the subject from many directions.

Larger the light source, the lower the contrast

Farther the light source is, the higher the contrast. So while the Sun is very large, it is very far away, making it high contrast.

Tools for Modifying Contrast

    • Scrim or Diffuse disk (light source | scrim | subject)
    • Reflector (light source | subject | reflector) (silver=cool, gold=warm, white=neutral, black=absorbs - deepen shadows)
    • Fill flash

Flash and direction - bounce the flash (wall, ceiling, floor)

Using Fill Flash

    • Create exposure based on the ambient light
    • Make sure the shutter speed does not exceed the camera's sync speed

TTL - Through The Lens

White Balance

    • Cloudy - adds yellow to the scene
    • Open Shade - Adds yellow to the scene
    • Tungsten - adds blue to the scene
    • Daylight - No correction to color. Ideal for a sunny/cloudless day.

NOTE: Since the daylight WB makes no correction to color, it is great for sunset, sunrise and night photography.

NOTE: To get a starburst effect, close down to f/16

Caucasian skin tone is 1 stop brighter than normal.

Recommended flash - SB-600

Recommended gear - Gary Fong Puffer Pop up Flash Diffuser


See next post for Day Two